Here Are Variety’s 10 Comics To Watch For 2020

Without the backdrop of Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival this July, there’s not quite the fanfare of years past for Variety to trumpet its annual “10 Comics To Watch” list.

But they still compiled a list!

They’ll be featured in the Sept. 29, 2020 issue of Variety and take part in a live virtual panel at this year’s Just for Laughs Digital Festival on Oct. 9-10.

For those of you just now keeping score, please remember that the Variety 10 Comics To Watch list is made up of names of comedians already making big waves, whom agents and managers already know have bigger things coming, and whom the industry already wants to put its muscle behind. OK, perhaps this reminder wasn’t so much for people “keeping score” as it is for comics who didn’t make the list. So CONGRATS to these 10 comedians doing it to it this year, of all years!

The 10 Comics selected this year are:

Sarah Cooper – Cooper went viral for her videos lip-synching Donald Trump’s speeches. Her upcoming Netflix special was just announced.

Chad Goes Deep – Tom Allen (a.k.a. “Chad Kroeger”) and JT Parr also went viral in videos attending city council meetings and trying to distribute masks to residents of Huntington Beach. They’re developing an animated series with Hulu.

Franqi French – The 2019 winner of NBC’s National Stand-Up Comedy competition.

Ziwe Fumudoh – A writer on Showtime’s Desus & Mero, Fumudoh went viral for her Instagram Live show interviewing problematic white people.

Caleb Hearon – Hearon has appeared on Showtime’s Work in Progress and will be seen in the new season of FX’s Fargo. He’s a writer on Netflix’s upcoming Big Mouth spinoff, Human Resources.

Janelle James – James just finished a second season as a staff writer on Showtime’s Black Monday and is currently a writer and voice actor on Apple TV+’s Central Park.

Dewayne Perkins – A co-producer on NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and a consulting producer on the upcoming  Peacock reboot of Saved by the Bell, Perkins is currently co-writing the feature film The Blackening based on the viral short of the same name written by Perkins and performed with his improvisational group 3Peat. You may also know a Perkins Tweet helped prompt the longtime CEO of The Second City to resign this summer.

Megan Stalter – Stalter’s videos have boomed during the pandemic, too. She’s also a writer and performer on the National Lampoon Radio Hour, as well as a voice on CBS All Access’s Tooning Out the News.

Brent Terhune – Terhune hosts “The Cafeteria” podcast with Ryan Niemiller and Jonny Loquasto. He’s developing a clip-based game show, and his second album comes out in October.

Jenny Yang – An executive story editor on Fox’s Last Man Standing, Yang created and hosts “Comedy Crossing,” which allows stand-up comedians to perform inside the video game Animal Crossing while others can watch on Zoom.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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